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Top 10 Nursing Schools in the Nation

Learn which top schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing. Review the degree options at four high-ranking universities, and see highlights of other schools in the U.S. that provide training for nurses.

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  • 0:05 School Information
  • 0:31 Oregon Health and…
  • 1:49 University of Pennsylvania
  • 2:51 University of California
  • 3:38 Boston College
  • 4:14 Top Nursing Programs

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School Information

If you already hold an associate's degree in nursing, schools may give you the opportunity to complete bachelor's degree requirements. The four schools we'll review include the Oregon Health and Science University, the University of California in Los Angeles, the University of Pennsylvania, and Boston College. Each of the four schools offers undergraduate and graduate programs ranging from bachelor's to doctoral degrees and each received recognition from U.S. News and World Report.

Oregon Health and Science University

The Oregon Health and Science University has five regional campuses, a virtual campus, and various community partnerships, allowing the School of Nursing to meet the needs of students all over Oregon and the United States.

The Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) has graduate programs for both family nurse practitioners and gerontological and geriatric nurse practitioners. OHSU also serves as a training clinic and research center in many medical-related fields, with nursing as one of its specialties. The university offers a pre- and post-Associate of Applied Science transfer program for aspiring nurses seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The school also offers an accelerated and traditional 4-year BSN program and a Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN program.

At the graduate level, students can pursue a Master of Nursing (MN) program, which U.S. News and World Report tied at #30 in its 2017 ranking. Areas of specialization include family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and clinical nurse specialist. Graduate programs leading to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are also available. Some of the school's graduate programs are also available online.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate nursing students to study and complete clinical rotations abroad. As of 2017, this Ivy League school ranked at #2 on U.S. News & World Report's survey of best nursing master's degree programs. Particularly high-ranking programs within the school include Nurse Anesthesia, Nursing Administration, and Nurse Practitioner.

At the university, students can pursue an accelerated BSN and a combined BSN/Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Programs leading to a BSN/Ph.D. in Nursing and Ph.D. in Nursing are also available. Courses found in the master's and post-master's certificate programs include adult and pediatric acute care, family health, pediatric oncology, and psychiatric-mental health nursing. Studies in nurse midwifery, nurse anesthesia, and women's health care are also part of the program. Nursing professionals can continue their education through the school's Center for Professional Development.

University of California

In 2015, the University of California - Los Angeles' school of nursing was ranked at #5 in National Institutes of Health funding. According to U.S. News & World Report in 2017, the university ranked 24th among national universities as well as 12th for its nursing master's degree programs. Undergraduate and graduate students can earn a pre-licensure BSN or MSN. Licensed nurses can apply to the MSN or postmaster's certificate program and pursue a concentration in nursing administration, gerontology, family population, pediatrics, or under-served populations. Ph.D. in Nursing specialties include biobehavioral or biologic science, health disparities in at-risk populations, and health services.

Boston College

Boston College gives students enrolled in a master's program the chance to choose from six advanced practice specialties. In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked the master's degree in nursing program at Boston College (BC) as #33 in the nation. Also in 2017, BC reported nursing to be one of the most popular of its 58 undergraduate majors. The William F. Connell School of Nursing at BC offers programs that lead to a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or doctorate. In 2000, the school established an M.S./Ph.D. dual degree program.

Top Nursing Programs

Now, let's look at the options offered by other well-respected schools:

College/University Name Distinction Location
Duke University Offers a 16-month Accelerated BSN program Durham, NC
Johns Hopkins University Features a Ph.D. program ranked #5 by the National Research Council in 2017 Baltimore, MD
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Home to the Clinical Learning Center Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Offers specialist programs in psychiatric/mental health clinical nursing, nursing service administration, and pediatric nurse practitioner Chapel Hill, NC
University of Texas at Austin Home to two community clinics that provide healthcare for low income, uninsured community members Austin, TX
University of Washington Features a nursing master's program ranked as tied at #4 and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program ranked at #1 nationally by U.S. News & World Report in 2017 Seattle, WA

Some of the top-rated schools offer an accelerated bachelor's degree program, allowing you to complete requirements in considerably less time than is the norm. Schools may also offer a wide array of specialties or concentrations in graduate and post-graduate degree programs.

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